Various exemplary embodiments relate to a chaining of sequential functions associated with a service or application are considered. This approach relies on a centralized load balancer for reducing the load of inter-rack traffic in a data center. The centralized load balancer may include a memory configured to store a service data flow table; and a processor configured to: receive at the centralized load balancer, a path inquiry for a service data flow; determine which virtual machine to assign the service data flow, wherein at least two functions of a chain of functions required in the service data flow are to be performed on the same rack; and assign the service data flow to the determined virtual machine.
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